Fillmore St.
San Francisco
NOLITA

Damen Avenue, Bucktown, Chicago, IL

VIRTUAL SHOPPING GUIDE:

Just minutes north of Wicker Park, nestled between stately greystones and the Damen/O'Hare Blue Line exit is a hub of big city boutiques with Midwestern heart. Here, Beso Editor DIANA RYU scopes out the best places where in-the-know shoppers hunt for beautifully curated, quality goods—all available to browse with just a click of a mouse.

  • 1

    Apartment Number 9

    1804 North Damen Ave.,
    Chicago, IL 60647

    773.395.2999

    Menswear enthusiasts head north towards Armitage Avenue to this Bucktown area stronghold where the Blessing sisters, Amy and Sarah, own a craftsman-centric shop that houses quality-focused labels like Wings + Holds, Shipley & Halmos, and A.P.C. Well-dressed Windy City men can play Don Draper as they sift through the offers, most of which are not available at big-box department stores: Crispy selvedge jeans from North Carolina based Raleigh Denim, buttery handmade Balfour carryalls from Libero Ferrero, and shiny metallic sneakers from French stalwart Maison Martin Margiela round out the minimalist mid-century boutique. SHOP Apartment Number 9 ›

    1

    Apartment Number 9

    1804 North Damen Ave.,
    Chicago, IL 60647
    773.395.2999

  • 2

    David's Tea

    1645 North Damen Ave.,
    Chicago, IL 60647

    773.697.9737

    No more wracking your brain for an appropriate hostess gift: This specialty tea shop is mecca for thoughtful gifting needs. Behind the enormous white service bar are metal tea tins that stack upwards to the ceiling, filled with exotic blends that make every fragrant sip truly exciting. Think: Birthday Cake Rooibos (sprinkles included), spicy Chocolate Chili Chai, and a miracle worker called Cold 911 that promises to stave off a bad cold. Order up a batch with one of the baristas (who all have an encyclopedic knowledge of the product), and make sure to pick up a colored tea tin on your way out. SHOP David's Tea ›

    2

    David's Tea

    1645 North Damen Ave.,
    Chicago, IL 60647
    773.697.9737

  • 3

    P. 45

    1643 North Damen Ave.,
    Chicago, IL 60647

    773.862.4523

    It's nearly impossible to leave this cool-girl mainstay without a major haul thanks in part to the down-to-earth vibe emanating from the warm wood and exposed brick walls (shopping the store is akin to raiding your older sister's amazing wardrobe). Proprietor Tricia Tunstall launched the store back in 1997 when there were few choices on Damen Ave., and with the help of long-time employee Judy Yin Keller, has secured their place as a reliable haunt for those in search of a carefully edited selection of artsy apparel and accessories. Stack your wrists with mixed media Orly Genger bracelets, fawn over Lizzie Fortunato's tasseled clutches, and walk out with a pair of perforated Rachel Comey booties. SHOP P. 45 ›

    3

    P. 45

    1643 North Damen Ave.,
    Chicago, IL 60647
    773.862.4523

  • 4

    Edith Hart

    1917 North Damen Ave.,
    Chicago, IL 60647

    773.252.3350

    Named after her glamorous grandmother, Morgan Gutterman's Edith Hart has been serving Bucktown area socialites (the site's homepage features Chicago Cubs' David De Jesus' philanthropist wife, Kim) in her art-deco slanted store since 2011. Emerald velvet armchairs residing on slick marble floors are flanked by racks of Bec & Bridge cut-out dresses, Wildfox basics, and a teensy in-house line of dolman sleeve sweaters. Watch for the resident friendly Boston Terrier, Lyla, who greets every customer and lives the good life, lazing around whilst surrounded by beautiful duds. SHOP Edith Hart ›

    4

    Edith Hart

    1917 North Damen Ave.,
    Chicago, IL 60647
    773.252.3350

  • 5

    Belly Dance Maternity

    1647 North Damen Ave.,
    Chicago, IL 60647

    773.862.1133

    Style conscious mamas with burgeoning bellies can breathe a sigh of relief: This airy, loft boutique is where traditional maternity clothes just don't have a place. Instead, the beautiful light wood in the Chi-town flagship makes it feel like you're shopping in New York's West Village (coincidentally, home to their second location), with a concentration in all things baby and motherhood. Stretch-waist J Brand maternity jeans, Hanky Panky lace undies that ride extra low, stretchy Michael Stars tees, and nontoxic RGB nail polish ensures that you get through the next nine months feeling like, well, yourself. SHOP Belly Dance Maternity ›

    5

    Belly Dance Maternity

    1647 North Damen Ave.,
    Chicago, IL 60647
    773.862.1133

  • 6

    The Red Balloon

    1940 N. Damen Ave.,
    Chicago, IL 60647

    773.489.9800

    Dizzying stacks of colorful tees propped up on vintage milk crates scattered throughout this cavernous store make it supremely easy to lose yourself in sweet accouterments for le bébé. Rainbow-hued, animal shaped toys and an entire children's library span the back wall, making this the ideal place to grab a present for the wee ones in your life. They're famous for their monogrammed threads, so get your sweet babes a jumpstart in learning those ABC's. SHOP The Red Balloon ›

    6

    The Red Balloon

    1940 N. Damen Ave.,
    Chicago, IL 60647
    773.489.9800

  • 7

    Diptyque

    1645 North Damen Ave.,
    Chicago, IL 60647

    773.252.3989

    The famous purveyors of deliciously scented bougies are available in most luxury department stores, but entering their brick & mortar is a near religious experience. Dark cherry wood vanities house the glamorous goodies, while an enormous oval chandelier—made up of empty candle jars—adds a romantic glow. Chicago is the only Diptyque outlet in the Midwest (there are only three other locations in the US, two in New York and one in San Francisco), but even though you can buy these ultra-chic perfumes elsewhere, might we suggest making a stop in this decedent location? SHOP Diptyque ›

    7

    Diptyque

    1645 North Damen Ave.,
    Chicago, IL 60647
    773.252.3989

  • 8

    Cynthia Rowley

    1653 North Damen Ave.,
    Chicago, IL 60647

    773.276.9209

    Situated in a sort-of rotunda, this circular shop is ideal for sifting through the entirety of the designer's famous maximalist pieces (just stand in one spot and make a 360 degree turn, and you've seen the collection). Neoprene swimsuits, metallic tee shirts, and paint splattered trucker caps are catnip for the invited-to-every-party set. Plus, exclusive collaborations with the likes of Band-Aid make this destination a color-happy hit. SHOP Cynthia Rowley ›

    8

    Cynthia Rowley

    1653 North Damen Ave.,
    Chicago, IL 60647
    773.276.9209

  • 9

    Robin Richman

    2108 North Damen Ave.,
    Chicago, IL 60647

    773.278.6150

    Though not yet set up with an online storefront, this tightly edited store is worshipped by other Damen Avenue proprietors for it's hard-to-find-anywhere-else selection. Launched by Richman in 1997, after running a wholesale sweater business for eighteen years, the former textile design student is incredibly fastidious about what she carries. A turn through the store will have you racing for your wallet, wholeheartedly and without guilt: It's art, after all. From A Detacher shoes to Gary Graham jackets (the wire sculpture in front of the door was commissioned after artist Lucy Silvinski bought the most avant-garde Gary Graham piece in the shop), the wares here are unparalleled. SHOP Robin Richman ›

    9

    Robin Richman

    2108 North Damen Ave.,
    Chicago, IL 60647
    773.278.6150

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